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This 208 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 208 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7]     
Why Is Wikipedia On Top in Search Results?
So many searches now have Wikipedia at the Top.
JoeS




msg:3261920
 7:32 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've noticed in many searches for business names or people over the past few months that Wikipedia is now the No. 1 or 2 result. Is Google promoting a non-profit site over others or just the huge traffic Wikipedia is getting?

 

Small Website Guy




msg:3275568
 6:48 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

My point about blogs? Links from blogs boost Wikipedia's Google profile.

Are webmasters here seriously wondering why bloggers prefer to link to Wikipedia rather than their spammy Adwords/affiliate links sites?

DumpedbyG




msg:3275585
 7:06 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

No they not, maybe you should read the thread.

Small Website Guy




msg:3275828
 11:20 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I skimmed the thread enough to understand it. People are complaining that it's not FAIR that Wikipedia shows up at the top of the search results instead of their money-making site.

The second complaint is that Wikipedia is not reliable, but what's more reliable than Wikipedia that WANTS to be found? Most of the more reliable content is protected from being read for free.

There was also some speculation that Wikipedia is being intentionally favored by Google, but it seems clear to me that Wikipedia is just picking up the kind of natural links that the ranking algorithm likes.

[edited by: Small_Website_Guy at 11:22 pm (utc) on Mar. 8, 2007]

trinorthlighting




msg:3275846
 11:46 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

No site is 100% reliable, if you have a niche and want to outrank wiki, write some interesting and unique content, and a lot of it...

mattg3




msg:3275853
 11:54 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

No site is 100% reliable, if you have a niche and want to outrank wiki, write some interesting and unique content, and a lot of it...

Something like a million pages +.

Alternatively do what Google does, scan in old books, top notch high quality content .. 70 years ago ..

Content is king .. lol

annej




msg:3275946
 1:45 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

My sites are still outranking Wikipedia but it is alarming how their pages are crawling up toward the top. In my topic, a very popular hobby, they are up above sites that have pages and pages of good information on the topic. The one wiki article that is a mish mash of what people have written and is far from complete is beating out good informational sites.

As I've said before, those really huge sites have a lot of ranking power.

<added> I just used Yahoo to check the backlinks of the page I mentioned above. It doesn't even have that many inbound links. But the power of the internal links gets it up there.

europeforvisitors




msg:3275982
 2:30 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

As I've said before, those really huge sites have a lot of ranking power.

True, but probably not as much as they did a year or two ago. In my sector, a couple of zillion-page trip and tourist megasites ruled the roost for a while but have slipped quite a bit. About.com pages don't seem to rank as high as they used to, either.

If Wikipedia doesn't deserve its rankings, it'll probably slip, too.

KenB




msg:3276015
 3:07 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Okay here I have found an example of a Wikipedia page ranking in the top five for a specific key word that the page has nothing to do with and only mentions said key word only three times (once in the singular twice in the plural), what is even worse it ranks higher than government pages that are explicitly about said key words (which has a very specific meaning in U.S. Federal Regulations).

The point being Google is giving really poorly done Wikipedia pages very high rankings for search phrases that said Wikipedia pages have nothing to do with. Also I did a back link check for said page and there were less than a dozen non-Wikipedia backlinks for said web page.

People keep saying if you don't like it add more content, but this isn't the problem. The problem is that Google's algorithms are giving too much weight to really large sites that are on very diverse subjects. If Google really cares about the quality of their search results they need to make sure that thousands of links to a site like Wikipedia for some pop culture fad doesn't spill over into a high ranking for a search on very specific widgets when that the broad based site really doesn't get linked to as an authority on.

Maybe figuring out the context of articles is a holy grail of search algorithms. Google, however, needs to be able to figure out how to determine and compartmentalize the context of different pages/sections of sites. A monster site that is really popular in one context should not dominate search results in a totally different context that they are not relevant for.

BTW just to say that this isn't sour grapes I out rank Wikipedia for the term in question and I out rank them for most terms that are important to my site. At the same time if Google were able to rank sections of a site based on context, I'm certain like some sections of Wikipedia, some pages on my site would fall in Google's SERPs.

This isn't a matter of trying to compete against Wikipedia. This is about Google finding a way to return the most relevant pages without pages from monster sites exhibiting an undo ability to rank highly for search phrases they are completely irrelevant for.

[edited by: KenB at 3:09 am (utc) on Mar. 9, 2007]

tedster




msg:3277373
 8:22 am on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Related "Webmaster General" thread, currently featured on our home page:

Wikipedia Editor Storm Continues, Now to Seek Proof of Credentials [webmasterworld.com]

Miamacs




msg:3277476
 12:32 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google returning relevant pages?

I think I know what you mean [google.com].

...

<fineprint>
For those who didn't know, this is a joke. Notice the num=0 parameter. There are 39+ million matches [google.com]
</fineprint>

europeforvisitors




msg:3277602
 3:40 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

This isn't a matter of trying to compete against Wikipedia. This is about Google finding a way to return the most relevant pages without pages from monster sites exhibiting an undo ability to rank highly for search phrases they are completely irrelevant for.

(1) Google isn't perfect. No search engine is perfect.

(2) See earlier discussions of profiling. If statistical analysis reveals that there's a better-than-average [l]likelihood[/i] that a Wikipedia page will contain relevant and useful information, then it stands to reason that Wikipedia pages will tend to rank well. And if the results aren't always ideal, see point (1).

(3) Rankings aren't carved in stone, and search engines are works in progress. Just because you see an irrelevant Wikipedia page ranking high for "widgets" today doesn't mean you'll see that page ranking high for "widgets" a month from now or a year from now. Forecasts of doom based on today's search results are likely to prove embarrassing later on.

budlight




msg:3279692
 6:48 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

All I have to say is "pearl necklace".

Ok I really have more to say.... this nonsense has got to stop.

annej




msg:3282537
 8:24 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I do hope that Google will take a closer look at this. I still rank above Wikipedia but I see one poor modge page wiki page beating out hundreds of pages in sites full of good info in my field

I shudder to think that students will read the Wikipedia page and think that is fact.

annej




msg:3282538
 8:25 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I do hope that Google will take a closer look at this. I still rank above Wikipedia but I see one poor modge page wiki page beating out hundreds of pages in sites full of good info in my field

I shudder to think that students will read the Wikipedia page and think that is fact.

activeco




msg:3282831
 3:36 pm on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I shudder to think that students will read the Wikipedia page and think that is fact.

I shudder even more when students and non-students follow the mainstream media and take a lot of crap as facts.

potentialgeek




msg:3282867
 4:06 pm on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

OMG! Wiki has overtaken this site on Google searching for webmaster! Aaaaargh! I'm now at the tipping point with Wiki for my main site for a top keyword. Some days behind, some days ahead. Today I beat the beast.

Wiki is now #2 on a search for USA. It is ahead of usa.gov. Wiki recently overtook the big news website in Canada, canada.com, a PR8, on a search for Canada. lol! Some Wiki pages are outrageously long, over 350KB, a mini book?!

Some of us will lose hundreds of dollars after being overtaken by Wiki is SERPs; others will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. Meanwhile Wiki will keep asking for donations. Ugh.

p/g

annej




msg:3283334
 1:24 am on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia just passed my number one key word on several data centers. <sigh>

I think my best weapon in fighting this is that my snippet looks about a thousand times more interesting than their snippet.

Keniki




msg:3283340
 1:33 am on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

so here's the news, dmoz editors are scrambling to wikipedia.......

vicyankees




msg:3283402
 3:11 am on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's really bad when you get multiple Wikipedia country sites in a single search query within the top 20 results.

activeco




msg:3283522
 8:07 am on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think my best weapon in fighting this is that my snippet looks about a thousand times more interesting than their snippet.

That's actually true.
Most people skip big names if they know it's not the place they were looking for.
I guess second or third result is even more often clicked if the first place is occupied by a famous name.

annej




msg:3283914
 3:36 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

The comedian Sinbad was reported to have died of a heart attack (untrue) on Wikipedia. Anyway it's made national news today and in the process the news reporters are talking about how everything on Wikipedia isn't true. Also there has been some discussion on how Wikipedia works, how anyone can add something.

Hopefully this will help people understand that they can't trust everything they see there.

[edited by: annej at 3:59 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2007]

activeco




msg:3283936
 3:58 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Such errors are usually corrected very fast.
If something like that already made news, it looks more like someone is playing around with an agenda behind.

I think (mostly paper) media have started a kind of global war against Internet. They have nothing to loose anymore.

potentialgeek




msg:3283993
 4:38 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

How long before Google realizes their bowing down to Almighty Wiki is bad for business? There are literally thousands of sites with Adsense which make them less money now due to the Wiki 'skimming.' They are losing ridiculous amounts of money. And for what? Results that waste people's time so often. Not everyone is writing a school paper. Hello?

We all know the difference between one place, such as the top spot, and the next, second place, often represents a huge percentage drop in traffic, and Wiki is taking the top spots. That means every site with Adsense overtaken by Wiki loses Google money.

Go Google PhDs! You're brilliant! lol! Why stop with only one Wiki search result? Why not fill the entire page?

p/g

europeforvisitors




msg:3283999
 4:43 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

How long before Google realizes their bowing down to Almighty Wiki is bad for business? There are literally thousands of sites with Adsense which make them less money now due to the Wiki 'skimming.'

Your hypothesis arrived too late: Another member has already told us that Google is favoring Wikipedia to boost AdWords sales.

dragsterboy




msg:3287260
 3:00 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I believe that Wiki has a top page rank because it has copious amounts of links coming to it from educational web sites and other sites like that (i.e. trusted sites) and Google loves trusted sites. It considers and places them on a higher level. Who knows, that's my personal opinion.

annej




msg:3287273
 3:15 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

And an individual wikipedia page may have few or no internal links to it and it will still rank because of a few internal links.

I wouldn't mind if just the well referenced pages with extensive information were doing so well but someone can put a paragraph with no documentation up and that page ranks in the top few results.

bouncybunny




msg:3287347
 4:23 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most people skip big names if they know it's not the place they were looking for.

Interesting. I always used to do that with the about.com results when they were Google's favourites. About was so well optimised and linked to that it used to be #1 for pretty much anything. Yet the page content rarely had anything other than a few paragraphs of introduction text.

Wikipedia at least generally has some content... variable as it is.

It does raise a big question about the whole backlink as a sign of quality thing with Google's SERPs. I know of one Wikipedia subject page whose rankings have recently gone through the roof due to an article and link from a page on an authority site ridiculing how bad that subject's entry is.

Idris




msg:3287386
 5:00 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

In a way I feel it good that it's spreading. With more experiencing Wikipedia squatting at #1 the bigger the complaint and the more voices for Google to take a look at how it treats Wiki articles.

I don't mind sharing the higher rankings with Wikipedia (it's better than sharing with fully competitive sites or generic spam sites) but the fact that it outranks sites that go above and beyond the small snippets of text that Wiki carries is frustrating.

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